Border Patrol: ‘Kids Are Being Rented’

border patrol kidsA 1-year-old baby that a Honduran man tried to pass off as his child—to gain a quick release from Border Patrol after illegally crossing the border—was not his.

The man was caught only through the vigilance of Border Patrol agents. By regulation, biographical information on children under 14 isn’t taken.

“You can walk through any of our processing centers and you can see that there are potentially parents, or adults with children, that there may not be a familial relationship,” said Raul Ortiz, Border Patrol chief for Del Rio, Texas. “There’s probably many more cases like that happening across all nine southwest border sectors on any given day. Really, if you think about it, it’s human trafficking.”

In 2014, fewer than 1 percent of all men apprehended by Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley Sector had a child with them. That number now sits at 50 percent, according to Rodolfo Karisch, chief Border Patrol agent for that  sector.

The number of family units crossing illegally has skyrocketed since a judge in California reinterpreted the Flores Settlement Agreement in 2015 to now say that any child, including those with parents, can’t be held longer than 20 days. Previously, that law had only applied to unaccompanied minors. Twenty days is not long enough to adjudicate an asylum case, so with the system overwhelmed with sheer volume, family units are being released within a few days.

In both fiscal 2016 and 2017, the total number of family units that were apprehended by Border Patrol was around 77,000. Family unit numbers count the total number of individuals who arrived as a family unit (at least one parent and one child).

However, in fiscal 2018, the numbers jumped to 107,000. And in the first six months of fiscal 2019, the number of family units has shot to almost 190,000.

The vast majority are from Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador.

“Make no mistake about it, the word is getting out: if you are part of a family, if you bring a child, you will be released,” Karisch said at a Senate hearing on April 9.

He said Border Patrol recently intercepted a text message from an MS-13 gang member who was part of a fraudulent family unit.

Karisch read out the message: “You should see the amount of Hondurans that are traveling with a child. And they pay less to the smugglers in order to be delivered to the Border Patrol. And it’s a direct trip. They have them a few days with Border Patrol and afterwards, they are released. There are a lot of people with that law. That is the easiest way right now. Entire families are coming.”

On April 18, in the Rio Grande Valley, a group of 35 illegal aliens was apprehended by Border Patrol. One woman, who said she was five months pregnant, said her husband and their daughter had crossed on a different day as a separate family unit.

Families are now using that tactic so that everyone is released quickly, said Carlos Ruiz, Border Patrol agent in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Because if they came as a whole family … we can hold one of the parents for however long we want to,” Ruiz said “We’re not going to separate the child from either the mother or the father, but we will separate the father or the mother from them.”

‘We’ve Missed Many, Many More’

In the Yuma, Arizona, sector, an average of three fake families are discovered every day.

In the past six months, Yuma Border Patrol agents have detected 550 fraudulent family units, according to Sector Chief Anthony Porvaznik.

“And we know we’ve missed many, many more, simply because we’re overwhelmed with the sheer numbers,” Porvaznik said on April 17. “And so those are kids that are being rented, for lack of a better word, to an adult to format a fraudulent family unit so that they can be released in the United States and then that child will be recycled back to its country of origin—usually Guatemala, in our case here in Yuma.”

The Yuma sector has become the third busiest in the nation for illegal crossings, but the Rio Grande Valley still dwarfs Yuma’s numbers by four times.

Porvaznik said another problem is adults who are getting their birth certificates altered to indicate they’re juveniles—making it much easier to be released into the United States, either as part of a family unit or as an unaccompanied minor.

“So there’s a huge fraud problem that’s going on with this process,” he said.

He said he has started a pilot program that allows Border Patrol to collect biometric data of a child under 14, if the adult with the child consents. A rapid-DNA pilot program is also starting, but it’s very expensive and limited in scope, Porvaznik said.

“It’s hard to put that into play right now. So, what we’re relying on are fingerprints and photographs. And interviews that agents do of the kids,” he said.

“Our agents do a great job with trying to detect [fraud], but the problem is, is when we have 1,000, 1,100 people in custody, really our goal is to get those people processed … we need to move those people out of our custody.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on April 29 that it is sending agents and experts to the border to “investigate child smuggling and document fraud used to exploit family immigration loopholes.”

‘Serious Harm’

If an adult is found to have an unrelated child with him or her, the child is then processed as an unaccompanied minor, Ruiz said.

“We work together with the consulates. They usually help us find a family member here in the United States, or the mother or father back in their home country,” he said.

He said that sometimes, the parents have willingly given their children over to be part of a fake family unit, other times not. Sometimes, the smuggling groups will match an unaccompanied minor with an adult to pass as a family unit—ostensibly charging the adult extra.

“These kids are being trafficked through multiple countries and put through terrible conditions,” Ortiz said. “If we don’t do something to stop this, if we don’t make a stand on the border security and immigration problem right now, there’s going to be more of these kids that are going to be subjected to some serious harm.”

Reprinted with permission from - The Epoch Times - by Charlotte Cuthbertson

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Frank S.
1 year ago

Obviously our immigration policies need to be fixed in order to dissuade this blatantly illegal activity. But nothing will be fixed. The cynicism of the progressive left (read “Dems”) will not permit it. With a wink and a nod they profess to be such “humanitarians”…don’t you believe it! Remember, many are in favor of nearly full-term abortions–what’s humanitarian about that? Working to ensure policies stay in place to keep many Americans at or below the poverty line–what’s humanitarian about that? Pushing an agenda of divisiveness (victimization and identity politics)–what’s humanitarian about that? Everyone who reads the AMAC articles (which tells… Read more »

Michael Phillips
1 year ago

Let’s be honest we don’t need any of these people here the only reason they’re coming is because of Obama and his Muslim communist thugs are trying to flood the country with illegals to overwhelm our system. Best thing to do is turn them back they don’t need to be here they can go back to their own home countries they can apply there for citizenship or a Visa or whatever to come here but until then get out and don’t come back until then.

Harry from Oregon
1 year ago

Our politicians do not have the desire to fix the border crisis. They all know, but will never state, that these people are their new potential voter base. Let’s start by removing some of the draw. First, we need a national e-verify for employment. Change the tax law so that an employer can not write off the wages of anyone who has not been verified. If they can’t write off the expense of an individual they will be less inclined to hire them. So less jobs, equals, less draw. In addition, all children must be registered for school by a… Read more »

Anita Penz
1 year ago

We, then, are our own enemy by our imagioned benevolence, & there are therefore contributing to this epidemic. Great harm is coming not only to the children, as innocent individuals, but to the families that are accepting this as the new norm. I would close the boarder. This is insane. We don’t want these people here. We want the Boarder to be a Boarder….but it looks like the highway to heaven to these people. This is not helping these countries deal with their issues. But look at the potential billions of dollars that will be sent home. To them, this… Read more »

Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Rigged system for abuse OUR resources & divide illegal families, so BS. Coyotes are dividing families NOT US.

Big Al
1 year ago

The President needs to send as many troops as necessary to stop the illegal flow of non-U.S. citizens and send immigration judges to the border. This is not a question of good or bad it is a question of legal or illegal

Dr. Covert
1 year ago

This has to stop. There has to be a way to stop these wrongs.

1 year ago

Would you like this invasion to stop? I talked with an ex- border guard who quit the service because of the insanity of the politicians in D.C. The solution is simple BUT it has one drawback if you’re a bleeding heart liberal or an America hating Democrap politician. He said this invasion would end quickly if only 2 of the invaders were shot and killed after they came across the border. The word would spread like wildfire along the border that 2 illegal “migrants” were gunned down after entering America illegally. He worked in Arizona for 3 years…he knows how… Read more »

1 year ago

Meanwhile, our Congresspeople are sitting around eating chicken and making nonsense rhetoric. I just got an email letter from Engel, claiming he’s working on the problem of lowering prices of prescription drugs to those of us on Medicare while forgetting to mention, he’s working on that absurd ” Medicare for all” which will fully gut the Medicare funds and throw all seniors to the wolves. We need to keep followup on these idiots and let them know we don’t approve of their tactics before they go on another break. They haven’t done much in 120 days except for a lot… Read more »

Rick J.
1 year ago

This is an invasion of the USA. We have become a nation without borders. The result is costing the taxpayers
hundreds of billions,in federal,state and local benefits. This invasion is also going to cost innocent Americans lives. All of this could be stopped in two days if the socialist democrat leadership of, Polosi and Schumer would agree there is a problem and work with the President and Republicans to close all the loopholes. ALL US WHO CARE, need to call or tweet them, telling them to stop the BS and rewrite the immigration laws.

Greg Russell
1 year ago

There is no end to the fraud, deceit, and harm perpetrated upon this Republic by libs. They`re evil and are of Satan, their father.

Thomas H.
1 year ago

We’ll just have to start fingerprinting these minors to make sure they’re not being recycl… oh, wait… if we try that, some ObeyMe judge will stand up and yell “unconstitutional”. Silly me!

Michael cozzi
1 year ago

Get all of them

Phyllis Poole
1 year ago

It takes prayer to our God to thwart the devil who is loosed In our world right now. It started way back in the 1880s Just look at the difference in our world right now. Electronics seem to be a good thing but what is good about. Separating a family at the dinner table and kids not sharing things parents should know because their children are separated from them with their attention on who knows what on their hand held computers! We need prayer and what family asks Gods blessing on their God given food anymore. I was appalled at… Read more »

1 year ago

The kids being brought across the border by parents or rented by others are only valued as GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARDS.

1 year ago

What I don’t understand is how they can afford the thousands of dollars to pay these smugglers to get to America! The average US citizen working hard to provide for their family and paying bills does not have that kind of money! Why would they leave their country if they were able to save thousands of dollars? Someone has to be paying their way because it does not make sense!! If you look at any other country, you have to prove that you can support yourself or have a minimum income to be able to stay. How hard is that?… Read more »

1 year ago

This must stop!!! Close the Border to everyone until safeguards are put in place. Only immigrants that have filed for citizenship hold be allowed into the U.S.

Keith H
1 year ago

Trump doesn’t care !!! Otherwise the border would be shut down , he has the authority to shut the border down with our own troops . He’s not doing it so in my book that tells me he doesn’t care . The border is still wide open they’re coming in every day and they’re being shipped to various cities and Trump doesn’t care plain and simple !!! There will be disease and pestilence in your own communities very soon !!! All these sorry fools in Washington all they do is talk and there is never any action so we send… Read more »

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